Gen Con, Google Data Studio, Google Earth, More: Monday Buzz, February 6, 2017


In development: a database of events from 50 years of the Gen Con gaming convention. “The Temple University Digital Scholarship Center announces the creation of an online database of events for all 50 years of the Gen Con gaming convention. The database will be available for use by the public with an accompanying exhibit site for hosting articles related to the information that is gleaned from the gaming history of the database. The database and exhibit site are expected to go live in July of 2017.”


Google Data Studio is now completely free. “Today, Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful is even more relevant and broad reaching. And last year’s launch of both free and enterprise versions of Data Studio, a new dashboarding and reporting tool, is a testament to our commitment to this vision. Over the past 9 months we’ve received positive feedback and seen tremendous demand for the product. And we’ve continued to enhance the product making it even easier to use via templates and adding many new data connectors. To enable more businesses to get full value from Data Studio we are making an important change — we are removing the 5 report limit in Data Studio. You now create and share as many reports as you need — all for free.”

More Google: Google has open-sourced Google Earth Enterprise (GEE). “Originally launched in 2006, Google Earth Enterprise provides customers the ability to build and host private, on-premise versions of Google Earth and Google Maps. In March 2015, we announced the deprecation of the product and the end of all sales. To provide ample time for customers to transition, we have provided a two year maintenance period ending on March 22, 2017. During this maintenance period, product updates have been regularly shipped and technical support has been available to licensed customers.”

Stanford’s AV Artifact Atlas has been moved to GitHub. From the home page (now on GitHub, natch): “Welcome to AV Artifact Atlas, a resource for identifying errors and anomalies in analog and digital video. AVAA is built for and by a community of professionals in the field of audiovisual archiving but useful for anyone working with av material. ”


My Google Alerts tipped me to a YouTube user/channel named “Mrs. Martin”. Mrs. Martin’s description notes her as an English teacher and she has uploaded several videos about MLA citations. The ones I looked a were screencasts and between 4 and 7 minutes long.

Mashable: These Google Calendar tools make team meetings way easier. “Scheduling meetings on Google Calendar is now a whole lot easier. A recent update to Google Calendar implemented one of the better features of the iOS and Android apps — intelligent suggestions for meeting times, so you no longer have to worry to make sure the rooms and times work well for everyone – the calendar takes care of it for you.”

Genealogists have a new dataviz option for sharing their findings (PRESS RELEASE). “Twile’s new personalised family infographic is free and available to everyone… Users simply import their FamilySearch tree or upload a GEDCOM and their infographic is automatically created. Users will be able to see statistics such as the average number of children per family, the most common surnames, the ratio of men to women and the average age of marriage. ”

Devex: Tips and tricks for using World Bank’s new data tool. “The World Bank is home to some of the most comprehensive data on trade and other economic indicators, but with more than 1,800 indicators, the development community has at times struggled to navigate the resource. A new bank data portal is aiming to change that. Launched in January, TCdata360 aims to provide easier access to data and data tools. Among the new features is an application programming interface, or API, which provides protocols and tools to incorporate data from the World Bank directly within an organization’s system, including internal databases and publicly available analytic tools.”


From AllAfrica: Kenya: Lobby Calls for Internet Freedom, Urges Responsible Use of Social Media. “A civil society that promotes effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa has called for internet freedom in Kenya and responsible use of social media. The Collaboration on International Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) has also condemned national and county governments for harassing bloggers, social activists and even journalists who use social media platforms to highlight issues of human rights, corruption and bad governance among other ills.”


Le News: Fake posts on social media can lead to criminal proceedings in Switzerland. “Anyone who posts false information on Facebook that triggers a police investigation risks criminal proceedings. A recent case in Zug provides an example.”


Forbes: Fighting Social Media Hate Speech With AI-Powered Bots. “As social media platforms have become ever more intrinsic to how we live our lives and begun to evolve into the primary medium through which we communicate and listen to the rest of the world, their rise has handed a megaphone to the world’s hate and vitriol. In fact, it was Twitter who initially stepped forward to staunchly defend the rights of terrorists and their sympathizers to communicate via its platform before abruptly reversing itself in the face of fierce public criticism. Yet, despite myriad programs and policies designed on paper to fight abuse, in reality the platforms have done very little to curb the spread of hate speech, harassment and violent threats. This raises the question of whether the rise of deep learning-powered ‘bots’ could offer a powerful solution to online hate speech, by deploying them en masse to report, counter and overwhelm hateful posts in realtime.”

Found on Effectiveness of Facebook as a free marketing tool. “When Facebook started to filter out unpaid promotional material in user news paid in 2014, marketers were hesitant as it could only mean additional expenses for paid advertising online. While Facebook is widely studied in its effectiveness, relevant empirical evidence on how it works as a free marketing tool after the new rules and policies were set has to be explored further. Besides, attempts to discuss customer behavior on Facebook were varied, but the personal context of preference in line with emotions and needs remain less explored. Thus, this study attempted to understand consumer behavior at the personal context towards posted threads on Facebook using articles with contents on emotions and needs.” This paper has an irritating watermark which makes it somewhat difficult to read. Good morning, Internet…

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